. This means there was a good side to Judas even though the gospel says he habitually pilfered money from the common funds. For Christ to pick him at all means he had both talents for ministry and he had goodnesses...otherwise Christ prophetically in psalm 55 could not have experienced friendship toward him if he had no periods of goodness. This Terry...you have cited THE most interesting Judas passage for my taste. Judas is in hell now despite modern Catholicism seeming incapable of handling that...c.f. Karl Rahner, St. John Paul II, and Pope Benedict in an address...all unsure. Augustine and Chrysostom were sure because they read Christ's words on Judas and knew those words couldn't apply to a being destined for glory. I'd add....Christ used past tense prophecy of Judas and Justin Martyr noted that past tense prophecy is certain...not conditional. Thus Isaiah's prophecies of Christ are past tense because they will surely happen...53:5 " he was pierced for our offenses...by his stripes we were healed". Likewise prior to Judas completing the betrayal and far prior to his killing himself, Christ uses past tense about Judas' sins which haven't happened yet...." those whom thou gavest me I guarded and not one of them perished except the son of perdition"... said by Christ when Judas had not yet completed the betrayal....and far prior to the suicide. Past tense prophecy is certain. Yet God followed Judas after his sin and gave Judas sorrow for sin which Judas was to complete by turning with Hope toward God. But he did not so turn.
Meditating today's Gospel, I got the same impression - Judas wasn't saved. "It would be better for that man if he had never been born." I also considered "none of them is lost except the son of perdition."It adds to the sobriety of Peter's warning you have cited - "the righteous man scarcely be saved". I wondered what was wrong with Judas, how did he harden his heart? It seemed to me envy and ambition corrupted him - and he deceived even himself. Again another counsel from Peter's letter comes to mind: "Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, insincerity, envy, and all slander."
Hell is the hardest concept to accept because even evil choices are so quick that we think the person deserves a "do over". But Aquinas said there are two turnings in mortal sin...one turning toward a mutable good....and the other is a turning away from the Eternal God. Aquinas opined that perhaps the eternity of hell comes from that second turning not the first...away from Him who is eternal. This why I watch Psych reruns on Netflix. One needs silly in one's life if one tends to ponder hell.
A daytime reflection upon the beautiful image you have shared with us all, Terry...Hell...to see God as He is and to know that for all eternity, I can never, ever, again approach Him in the hope that I will be forgiven let alone saved. While I live, I should seek Him but when I die, and sought Him not, it is already much too late for me.That is Hell...eternal.Terry,I was contemplating this image of Judas kissing our Lord Jesus.Judas...desperately clinging. Trying to rationalize his betrayal. Corrupt in his touch of all that is good and pure. That bulging carotid artery, one can see on the left side of his neck...what stress he must have been under and all because he brought this sad fate upon himself. I then gazed upon the face of Jesus...I cannot quite make it out. What does his expression say to me? His body posture? His silence?Judas approaches, was he fearful? Did he doubt the Lord's awareness of what he was about to do? The Lord allows himself to be kissed, handed over, betrayed. That is how I am too when I know full well I should not go there and do always banking on the Lord's love and mercy for me. Create a clean heart in me oh Lord!
Terry,When I picture that kiss, I can't help but think back to this quote by St Augustine.By this patience, holy David bore the revilings of a railer, and, when he might easily have avenged himself, not only did it not, but even refrained another who was vexed and moved for him; and more put forth his kingly power by prohibiting than by exercising vengeance. Nor at that time was his body afflicted with any disease or wound, but there was an acknowledging of a time of humility, and a bearing of the will of God, for the sake of which there was a drinking of the bitterness of contumely with most patient mind. This patience the Lord taught, when, the servants being moved at the mixing in of the tares and wishing to gather them up, He said that the householder answered, Leave both to grow until the harvest. That, namely, must be patience put up with, which must not be in haste put away. Of this patience Himself afforded and showed an example, when, before the passion of His Body, He so bore with His disciple Judas, that ere He pointed him out as the traitor, He endured him as a thief; and before experience of bonds and cross and death, did, to those lips so full of guile, not deny the kiss of peace.Source - paragraph 8 here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1315.htm
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